Discover the new Growable Calendars
Karotte Ochsenherz

Carrot "Ox Heart"

Jude Jude
30/12/2021 · 7 minutes reading time

Help your December plants grow fat and crunchy!

Here's what's ahead:

Getting started

Quick tips at a glance:

  • Germination temperature: 6-10 ° C

  • Germination time: 14–40 days

  • Sowing outdoors: March – June

  • Pre-sowing: not recommended

  • Location: sunny to partially shaded

  • Root depth: 30 cm

  • Row spacing: 30 cm

  • Distance between plants: 2-4 cm

  • Sowing depth: 1–2 cm

Yes, it may look a bit on the tubby side, but the “ox heart” carrot doesn't look like this because he ate too many biscuits this holiday season. (That was us…maybe…) That's just how he was made: small and fat, and very sweet and tasty. Due to his short roots, this carrot does not need too much space below the surface. This makes him an absolutely ideal companion for your balcony or windowsill.

So let's get started with your December seeds from The Growable Calendar.


You can sow carrot "ox" from March to June, either in your vegetable bed or in a pot. We don´t recommend to pre-sow this variety.

If you are looking for a wintry windowsill pal, planting directly in a pot is also possible in January. You´ll need a cool, bright space for planting in a pot. A plant lamp will give the seedlings some of the additional light they need. Your plants will need to germinate in a temperature of 6-10°C at first. If it is not possible to provide these conditions in your indoor or outdoor climate options, it would be best to wait until mid-January or early-February, also using a plant lamp, to make sure your young plants can get enough solar energy to grow.

If you have very heavy, loamy soil, you should loosen it several days before sowing and remove the weeds. You should then enrich it with ripe compost and, if necessary, some sand.

In a pot:

  • Fill your pot with potting compost and use your finger to make 1–2 cm deep holes 2–4 cm apart in the soil.

  • Tear the seed paper from your calendar in small pieces.

  • Now you distribute the seeds in the holes and close them again.

  • Keep the soil moist until the seeds start germinating.

In a bed:

  • Take the seed paper out of your calendar and tear it into smaller pieces.

  • Place the snippets at a distance of 2–4 cm either in prepared, moistened grooves (distance 30 cm, depth 1–2 cm), or press the seeds into the loose soil at the appropriate distance.

  • You can do the same if you are using a balcony box.

  • It is beneficial to sow in a row because the seedlings can be easier distinguished from weeds.

  • . Water everything well and keep it moist for the next few weeks so that your carrots do not dry out during germination. However, do not muddy the earth either, otherwise the roots will not be able to grow deeply.


  • If you aren't able to plant at a distance of 2–4 cm, or if too many seeds are sprouting next to each other, you may have to thin out the carrots a bit.

  • This simply means removing plants that are too close together.

  • Pro-tip: if you are planting in a bed, do your thinning in rainy weather so as not to attract carrot flies.

  • Pro-tip #2: you can also harvest the excess carrots as soon as a small root has formed - the baby carrots taste particularly sweet and tender when raw. But that only works if they grow at least 1 cm apart.


  • Sunny to semi-shady

  • The soil should be loose, but also rich in nutrients.

  • When growing this carrot pot, make sure it provides enough space for the carrot to grow upwards as well as downwards.

  • Good neighbours: dill, leek, onion, peppermint, radishes, radish, lettuce, tomato, peas (just be sure to loosen the soil a bit)

  • Bad neighbours: beetroot, celery

Carrots on a table
You should water your carrots regularly – they love it!

Care for Your Carrots

  • Keep them moist by careful watering until germination.

  • After germination, water only when it is dry, otherwise the roots will burst. You can check the moisture in the soil with your finger to see if they are getting thirsty.

  • If you planted in a pot, you'll want to water a bit more frequently.

  • No fertilisation necessary.

  • Pile soil around the heads of the carrots to prevent them from turning green.

  • Remove weeds by hand so as not to damage the roots.

  • Rake or hoe regularly between rows.

  • Thin, air-permeable layers of mulch will help keep the soil moist and loose.

Diseases and Pests

  • Carrot fly: pile up soil, cover with a net, choose a windy location; only grow carrots in the same bed again after 3 years; plant onions in the same location.

  • Snails: put mechanical sheet metal barrier or a protective ring made of coffee grounds around the bed, water in the morning (snails love moisture in the evening).

Harvest and Storage

  • As soon as the orange turnip peeps out of the ground, she is ready for harvest.

  • The bigger the roots get, the more intense their taste.

  • Early baby carrots are sweeter and milder.

  • Carefully loosen the soil with a spade and pull out the head by its green part.

  • Harvest as needed.

  • If you find that some carrots are wrinkly, just put them in a glass of water for a few hours, then they will get crispy again.

  • For stews, you can also freeze your carrots for safe keeping.

  • Storage: The ox heart variety is a particularly suitable carrot for storage. If you have any carrots left, you can store them in a tub filled with sand in a cool space like a cellar. Just be sure to take off the green bits beforehand, so they don't dry out

Carrots arranged
These carrots are versatile kitchen buddies! You can cook (or just munch on) them right away, or store them for later months, if you choose! (Baby carrots are particularly delicious.)

And…bon appétit!

Of course, no stew can call itself a stew if it doesn't have carrots in it. And a good Bolognese sauce can't do without the boiled roots of your new orange buddies. Actually, they give all kinds of dishes a sweet and warm note.

One of our favourite – and most unique – recipes that we love to make from ox heart carrots is sure to spice/sweeten up your winter gatherings: winter pumpkin curry!

Carrot Pumpkin Curry
This winter pumpkin curry will keep you warm all through the chilly season!

Here's what you need you make it:

  • 1 small pumpkin

  • 3 medium-sized carrots

  • 2 small onions

  • 1 small piece of ginger

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • Oil for frying

  • Curry powder or curry paste

  • 1 bottle of cooked tomatoes or 1 can of chunky tomatoes

  • 1 can of coconut milk, heavy cream or plant-based cream

  • Salt and other spices of your choosing (allspice, cardamom, cumin, ...)

  • Fresh or frozen coriander greens

  • Juice of one lime

  • Optional: cashew nuts

Now for the preparation:

  1. Peel the pumpkin, depending on its variety, and cut into small pieces (side length approx. 1.5 cm). Cut the carrots into slices.

  2. Finely dice the onions, chop the ginger and garlic very finely.

  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, curry paste and spices. Add the pumpkin and carrots, season with plenty of salt, and add a little heat.

  4. Brown the vegetables whilst stirring, and deglaze with wine or water (if you are deglazing with vegetable stock, add less salt).

  5. After the alcohol has evaporated, add the tomatoes and add enough liquid to cover everything.

  6. Now it's time for ginger and garlic.

  7. Depending on the size of the vegetable pieces, let them simmer for approx. 10 minutes with the lid closed, checking the cooking point in between.

  8. Add coconut milk or cream and season to taste. Add seasonings of your choice, for example salt, curry, allspice etc, to taste.

  9. Finally, stir in the lime juice, coriander greens and optional cashew nuts to taste. Serve with basmati rice.

And for something you can make year-round:

A carrot and parsnip salad will bring a little freshness both in wintry times as well as in the spring and summer seasons. Simply grate the carrots and parsnips finely, add the vinegar and oil and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and fresh herbs.

And if you want to go waaaay down the rabbit hole, you can purée your carrot greens with olive oil, salt, pine nuts and parmesan to make a great pesto. *Italian-chef fingertip kiss*

So let's talk about carrots! What do YOU love about this vegetable? From the growing to the enjoying, tell us in the comments below about your experience growing these seeds!

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